My newest nerdy interest? Videos promoting products and services. On my last day of television production class this semester, my instructor had us execute a budgeting exercise for a pseudo freelance video project. He got us all amped up (or at least me) about doing freelance video work.
“Just because you’re not media production students, don’t discount the fact that you have skills that most of the population does not have.”
I’m in. Video work can be long and tedious, but it’s pretty fun, and the end result is so satisfying. It’s an area of work I really want to expand my skills in. Not just for products and services-weddings, local shows, events, etc.
As for products and services, if you’ve been online for any length of time, you’ve probably seem them-copious amounts of product or service launch videos. The content of these videos is often a pretty general attempt at building excitement-“This product is amazing! Outstanding results! Coming soon! Be the first!” etc. etc.
Even testimonials from supposed reliable people/sources can seem nothing more than an onscreen performance.
While these types of videos may work on the average gullible or uninformed person, there’s no real substance behind them. At the end of the day, they’re a pretty weak attempt to build excitement about the launch of a product.
You want your product-launch content, in whatever form it takes, to be something meaningful and beneficial to the person receiving it. You want them to be glad they spent their time engaging and being exposed to your message. A video for a product launch should make people feel like you are enlightening them, rather than selling them something. Even if they don’t buy instantaneously, this kind of message will stick in their brain. Building trust and goodwill will significantly increase your chance for conversation, interaction, and an interest in your product or service, from your desired target audience.
Easier said than done, right? Here’s three videos for new products/services I found that I think do a pretty good job.
David Ogilvy, often referred to as the father of advertising, saw advertising as black and white, with no ambiguity or grey area.
His book, The Theory and Practice of Selling the Aga Cooker, is a legitimate manual of rights and wrongs when it comes to the practice of advertising-anyone in the industry is most likely familiar.
I quite enjoy the above video. He was an intriguing guy for sure.
I love how at the beginning of the video he says, “I wish I could be with you today, in the flesh as they say.” Rhyme intended?
“Ever been in India? It’s hot. If you don’t mind I’m going to take off my coat,” is also pretty amusing to me.
A lot of his views are controversial.
One of his most well known beliefs was that long copy about the benefits of a product/service was the only way to sell something.
He was strongly against short or cutesy/poetic copy. It seems crazy to me that long copy about benefits could be the only way to go for ANY product or service!
Then again, he was from a different time. But even for advertising coming out of the mid-1900’s, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around this concept.
Below is a list written by him I found online about how an advertising agency should be. Some of the language is obviously a little humorous in this day and age, but the core values still remain true, in my opinion.
1) We treat our people like human beings. We help them when they are in trouble—with their jobs, with illnesses, with alcoholism, and so on.
2) We help our people make the best of their talents. We invest an awful lot of time and money in training—perhaps more than any of our competitors.
3) Our system of management is singularly democratic. We don’t like hierarchical bureaucracy or rigid pecking orders.
4) We abhor ruthlessness.
5) We like people with gentle manners. Our New York office goes so far as to give an annual award for what they call “professionalism combined with civility.”
6) We like people who are honest. Honest in argument, honest with clients, honest with suppliers, and honest with the company.
7) We admire people who work hard. Objectivity and thoroughness are admired.
8) Superficiality is not admired.
9) We despise and detest office politicians, toadies, bullies, and pompous asses.
10) The way up the ladder is open to everybody. We are free from prejudice of any kind—religious prejudice, racial prejudice or sexual prejudice.
11) We detest nepotism and every other form of favouritism.
12) In promoting people to top jobs, we are influenced as much by their characters as by anything else.
Regina Spektor's new music video came out a few weeks ago, and both the music and images have been dancing around inside my head. Because I spend my days caught up in finding the right words for Fusion clients, it's nice to give that wordy part of my brain a rest when the work day is over. That's when I turn to activities like baking and cutting up books and magazines for collage.
Both have a meditative quality. You have to focus on what you're doing in the moment, or you'll mess up the cookies or slice off a finger with an X-acto knife.
Here's one of the images from the video that inspired me to try my own version, below, made with a photo of my daughter and art cut from a book of botanical art and pictures from children's dictionaries and Golden Press science volumes from the 1960s.
I also searched for information about the video's director, Margo Weathers, with hopes of seeing more of her work. As it turns out, her background is in advertising, where she worked for Macy's and Nieman Marcus. I love her creative and fun take on fashion. View her portfolio at tribeunited.com/profile/individual/margo-weathers_1/
People love to look at people. When you show faces, you grab attention. When you show most anything else, you lose attention.
EyeTrackShop is a crowd-sourcing research firm that employs people all around the world to look at advertising or store fronts or anything you like. These lookers around the globe use web-cams with technology that has been calibrated to their eyes and look at your ad for you in their spare time. The collaboration of all these views gives you a good feel for what is and what isn’t attracting attention in your ad or on your online page.
As well, they have shown that the best place for your ad in an online page is top left above the fold (print lingo for what’s showing on the screen before you scroll down).
I found these photos in an article by Zoe Fox, writing for Mashable. I then went to the EyeTrackShop website for more on the technology. You can sign up to have ads checked or you can licence the technology. I would worry that the viewers might eventually or even at the beginning, be biased, but I’d have to read more on EyeTrackShop’s due diligence before recommending it. They do control for a number of potential biases like time of day, gender and media outlet.
They have coined the term “realCPM” to take the guesswork out of ad placements. They translate what the ad company says you are getting into what you are really getting. Of course, this doesn't directly relate to successful selling, but it certainly is a good starting point. Banner ads do best, followed by left then right placements above the fold.
The report you receive shows the percent of people who saw the ad, how long they looked at it, how long it took for them to notice it and if they recall your brand later on.
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